THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

OPINION – Letters to the Editor
Published Monday, May 20, 2002

Is the Anti-Drug Ad Campaign Really a Turkey?

    The assertion in your May 14 article by the current Drug Czar, John P. Walters, that the anti-drug ad campaign has "flopped" is absurd.  We have the data showing the tests that proved that the ads produced in the previous administration worked -- teens were 13% less likely to use drugs after seeing "Frying Pan" for example.  If the Drug Office isn't still testing their new ads, look within thyself... or go back to the ones we did which worked.

    Youth drug use went way down 34% in the last three years of then-Drug Czar McCaffrey’s tenure, when the campaign was rolling.  The campaign has been reaching 94% of the target audience of teens and parents seven times a week.  Mr. Walters wants to slam so he can re-create -- or worse, dismantle -- the program. It’s simply not true that the last team failed.  Unfortunately, that message has been his partisan proclivity since his statements before his confirmation, unlike former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, who capitalized on bipartisan and broad-reaching support.

Robert S. Weiner
Washington

(Mr. Weiner was director of public affairs, White House Office of National Drug Policy, May 1995 to August 2001)
Source: Robert Weiner Associates Public Affairs and Issues Strategies,Phone 301-283-0821 / 202-329-1700